General Criminal FAQ

Q: I’ve just found out I am being investigated, do I need a lawyer now? A: Absolutely. An investigation is one of the most critical stages in any potential criminal case.   Every criminal case begins with an investigation.   This is the time the police make the initial, critical decisions that can influence whether charges are ever filed.   For that reason, this stage of your case can represent a great opportunity to favorably influence the outcome, and can result in cases being closed, without prosecution, or lay groundwork for a positive resolution at a later stage. Q: The police want me to come in and give a statement.   Isn’t it always best to cooperate? A: What’s best, in any situation, is you having the ability to make an informed decision, about how to proceed.   That is why it is vital to consult an attorney before ever agreeing to a police interview.   Ronald Reagan once said that, to him, the 10 most frightening words in the English language are, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.”   We never advise our clients to talk to the police without meeting with us first, so we can investigate their situation, including finding out what the police are up to.   The police are generally not trying to help you.   They may believe you are guilty of some crime, and want you to “confess” and make their job easier. We recently had a case where an individual agreed to talk to the police without consulting an attorney.   The police later admitted that, had he refused to talk to them, they would have closed their case.   Unfortunately, the individual tried to “explain” things to the officers. He is now in Federal Prison. Q: I’ve been arrested, and bailed out, and they told me I have to go to court in 20 days. Should I wait until then before getting legal help? A: Definitely not.   The period between an arrest and that next court date represents a vitally important time period.   The police arrest citizens because they think there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, and that the person arrested committed the crime.   This is not the same thing as a decision to prosecute.   That decision is made by an attorney in the State Attorney’s office, known as a filing attorney.   He or she decides whether to file charges and what charges to file.   Without our help, they will make this critical decision based solely on the information from the police.   As you can imagine, the police will always seek to justify their arrest, and seek prosecution.   They will not present your side – which almost always results in formal charges – often the most serious charges – being filed.   We begin fighting for you before any charging decision is made.   We frequently can obtain the best possible outcome during this brief window in time, before the prosecutor makes up his mind to prosecute you.   Don’t wait, and allow a stranger to make what could be the most important decision about your future – without your voice ever being heard – and your defenses presented. Q: What should I look for when choosing my lawyer? A: Choosing a lawyer to defend you in a criminal case is one of the most important decisions you (or your family) may ever make.   There are many adequate attorneys out there. Some may take your money and make a deal in your case.   That is not good enough for us, and it should not be good enough for you.   You want the best result possible – not second or third best. Make sure your lawyer has the knowledge and experience necessary to handle your case.   Learn about their level of experience.   How long have they been an attorney? Have they been recognized as one of the best? Meet them personally.   Discuss your case, and find out what approach they plan to take to defend you.   While the system is supposed to presume you are innocent, it is dangerous to trust that. We fight for our clients.   We are proactive – not reactive.   Your lawyer should be aggressive, and work hard and fast.   We do just that. Find a lawyer that uses a team approach – not just with his office, but with you.   We know the law, but you know the facts, and your personal circumstances.   Only by combining forces can you get the best outcome.   Know what you are paying for. We put everything in writing, so there are no surprises.   Many times, a client will come to us after having hired someone else and being unhappy.   We ask them what they paid for (that is, what the lawyer promised to do for them), and they often don’t know, because they did not get a written contract.   Finally, and perhaps most importantly, does you lawyer care, and care enough to make sure you completely understand you case and your options? We do and we will.   You should never leave your lawyer’s office (or court) wondering what just happened or what was said. We make sure that will not happen to you. Q: Aren’t all these questions made up so I will hire your firm? A: Our FAQ’s represent our over 50 years combined experience in criminal law.   We want to help you, and know the problems that arise.   Being charged with a crime can be overwhelming, and we are with you every step of the way.    Do we want to be your lawyers? Our highest honor is representing citizens accused of crimes – and helping them get through a justice system that is often bent on breaking them.   We believe in the Constitution, and believe that your rights under the Constitution are just as important as any laws the police officers try to enforce.   You will become part of our law firm “family,” and you will see our entire staff is dedicated to helping you through these most trying times.   E-mail us. Make an appointment.   See for yourself that we are the lawyers you want on your side.   Consultations are free.   If you decide not to hire us when the consult is over, all you will owe us is a handshake.   We know how to help, and we look forward to the opportunity and honor to do so. We are available 24/7/365.



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